Track Cats Travel to South Carolina for SEC Outdoor Championships

May 9, 2001

The University of Kentucky track and field squads head to Columbia, S.C., for the 2001 Southeastern Conference Championships, May 10-13, at Weems Baskin Track & Field Complex on the campus of the University of South Carolina.

Going into the conference championships, the Cats have one automatic and one provisional qualifier for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships to be held May 30-June 2 in Eugene, Ore.

Freshman Jeff Chakouian leads the way for the Cats. His season-best and school-record throw of 64-11.50 ranks second in the SEC and fourth in the nation, while automatically qualifying him for NCAAs. Chakouian also ranks eighth in the SEC in the discus with a UK freshman record throw of 174-10.00.

UK's provisional qualifying mark belongs to another freshman, Molly Lonergan. Lonergan has made an immediate impact with a school-record discus throw of 166-02.00, which is third in the SEC and 20th in the country.

In addition to Chakouian and Lonergan, UK has 15 athletes who rank in the SEC's top 10 in their respective events.

On the men's side, seven athletes rank among the conference's best: David Freeman in the 800 meters (seventh 1:49.98), Hunter Spencer in the 800 and 1,500 meters (10th in the 800 1:50.38, seventh in the 1,500 3:46.51), Thomas Morgan in the 1,500 meters (ninth 3:48.92), Andrew VanderWagen in the high jump (eighth 6-09.75), Matt Smothermon in the high jump (10th 6-09.00), Scott Theis in the shot put (eighth 52-03.25) and Bill Powers in the discus and hammer throws (seventh in the discus 175-00.00, 10th in the hammer 174-06.00).

For the women, the lists include Beth Heimann in the 800 meters (10th 2:10.36), Caity Phillips in the 1,500 meters (eighth 4:27.76), Janet Crawford in the high jump (fifth 5-09.25), Simidele Adeagbo in the long and triple jumps (sixth in LJ 20-10.50, third in TJ 42-03.50), Shevan Threats in the long jump (10th 20-04.25), Aisha Smith in the hammer throw (eighth 173-09.00), Temitayo Adeago in the heptathlon (sixth 4,928 points) and Kristen Mowrey in the heptathlon (seventh 4,563 points).

Competition gets underway on Thursday, May 10, with the first four events of the heptathlon starting at 3:30 p.m. EDT.